Current Dream Kitchen Design

Andrew and I are entertaining the idea of moving in the next couple years to a slightly larger house and so we’ve been real-estalking like crazy lately (my most favorite hobby in all the world- open houses are my version of watching sports).  Of course, as a designer, I want something old and not yet renovated so I can do it myself the exact way I want it.  So every time I walk through a dusty old Colonial I think “what could I do in here?” and then launch into a tirade of design ideas HGTV style (but with realistic cost expectations!)  The one thing I love doing more than any other room is the kitchen, and while I have always liked a classic kitchen, there are always little tweaks to the exact look I love. And so I thought it would be fun to lay out what I would currently do for a “dream kitchen”.


1. Honed Imperial Danby marble counters and slab backsplash.  As much as I love subway, I’ve been loving slab backsplashes even more. Especially in kitchens with slightly more rustic or traditional details. It modernizes it a bit.  If the range/stove on on it’s own wall, you can beautifully mic slab behind the cooktop with subway everywhere else to save some money.

2. Antique brass or unlacquered brass hardware. Still my favorite look in a kitchen.

3. Taupe cabinets, these are from if you are looking to keep your budget on the “not breathing into a paper bag” level.  I’m loving the lighter taupe looks seen in lots of gorgeous British kitchens these days on Pinterest.

4. I like the industrial but modern look of these pendants from Circa by Kelly Wearstler.

5. A small detail, but I just got these canisters for my kitchen and they make me oddly delighted!

6. As I’ve mentioned before, my one big regret in my kitchen is not doing a single lever faucet in brass. I won’t make that mistake twice.  This one from Waterworks is a budget buster, but think of how often you use your kitchen faucet and buy the best quality you can so it lasts a long time and doesn’t frustrate you.

7. A nice big single bowl farm sink, like what I have now.

8. I’ve been really into the look of plaster hoods right now, eschewing the very popular metal and making the range and/ or other details of the kitchen the star. Clean and simple (and especially fetching with some gorgeous wood beams!)

9. The ultimate stove- La Cornue in stainless and brass. Not sure if these even cook that well (no window? double oven doors?), but hot DAMN are they pretty.

10. While I love a seamless kitchen/ living area floor (if  doing that I’d do a nice light oak color) I DO really like the look of checkerboard marble too (if the kitchen was not open to the rest of the living areas).

11., 12. & 13.  For an eat in dining space, a simple farm table, Windsor chairs and a modern- meets-traditional chandelier.

Here are some inspiration images for the plaster range hood I spoke about above:







  1. I LOVE harlequin floors in a kitchen. Or a big entry.
    Since it’s a dream kitchen, La Cornue rules. But if you want the look for less, check out Falcon, which is part of the same parent company. In French, this kind of big free-standing stove is called a piano de cuisson. Somehow that seems so appropriate.

  2. ♥♥♥ every single element in your dream kitchen, especially the flooring. I love a checkered marble flooring. I had one in our guest bathroom and always wished our home was set up for one in the kitchen but it flowed into our family room, so light white oak flooring took my dream floors place. Love when you do post like these of what your perfect rooms would be. You have impeccable style and taste. Fun post, keep dreaming and sharing,

  3. Currently renovating our kitchen and using a quartz slab backsplash! Can’t trust myself with marble, though I love it!! Love the slab look! We are at empty gutted stage right now, eagerly awaiting the final look!

  4. We recently took a gamble on that la cornue, but I love it! The cooktop and burners are a dream- the knobs are really easy to turn on, so maybe a safety issue with kids. The double ovens take some getting used to because they’re small they get hot and don’t fit large pans. And I do miss the window. But it functions beautifully and it’s a show stopper.

  5. If i were dreaming, I’d re-do with quartz but in a marble look. I’d love the no maintenance of quartz but with the look of marble. We remodeled our kitchen thirty years ago and it’s held up very well. The only thing I’d do differently (with what’s on the market now) is quartz for the countertop material. Everything else is functioning well and still looks great.

    Yes, we need you to move every few years so we can watch you remodel and decorate. You’d be doing it for us…

    1. We used honed imperial danby marble in our kitchen and powder room reno but chose to use marble lookalike Caesarstone as countertop material in our basement laundry room, basement wet bar, and upstairs baths. Love the look of the marble in the kitchen (we paired it with a long walnut island) but also love not having to worry about spilled product (think laundry detergent, nail polish, lipsticks, etc.) elsewhere!

  6. Gorgeous & timely post. We are redoing our kitchen as we speak and I also chose a marble slab behind the range (to coordinate with the counters). We are using Calcutta Marble. I’ve been nervous about my decision to do the marble slab but you’re making me feel much better about it! Thank you :)

  7. Gorgeous & timely post. We are redoing our kitchen as we speak and I also chose a marble slab behind the range (to coordinate with the counters). We are using Calcutta Marble. I’ve been nervous about my decision to do the marble slab but you’re making me feel much better about it! By the way, I almost picked that exact sink but it is kind of shallow. I fell in love with a ROHL but ended up going with 33″ Frankie for depth.

  8. Finished our kitchen last June and did the LaCornue and honed marble with aged brass hardware and unlacquered brass faucets. I did a stainless hood with brass detailing, and love it, but wish I had done plaster b/c I love it so much! I love my LaCornue. The burners are a dream (especially the high-powered middle burner – it boils water SO fast!). The oven does take some getting used to, but I feel like I’ve gotten the hang of it. You just have to stack smaller pans as opposed to using a large baking sheet.

  9. Hi Erin! Per the usual, I love everything about the design in this post! And, If / when you sell your house I am first in line to buy it. Omg. It’s my Dream home!!

  10. I am very pro-marble, and love patina, but I have heard horror stories about maintenance when you out it behind the range — think black smoke marks. I think this is especially an issue if your oven vents toward the backsplash.

    Another French range to consider is Lacanche. They are a bit cheaper than LaCornue and also have a great look. The ovens are also solid, but they hold a normal sheet pan.

    Beautiful choices as always…

  11. Erin,

    The idea of your moving again and giving us all the before and afters again is just too exciting.

    Completely off-topic but something I wanted to let you know about: I work for an organization called The Achievement Network, based in Boston, and one of our partner schools is hosting a fundraiser for their Edward M. King Scholarship Fund. Someone like you bringing attention to Boston Collegiate Charter Schools (BCCS) and the work they do would be yuge!

    Here are the details in case you (or any fellow readers) are interested!

    Capo Restaurant, Wednesday, April 5 at 6:30pm for the Boston Collegiate Charter School’s (BCCS) annual fundraiser for college success. Find out more about BCCS and register here:

    “Come enjoy a delicious array of Chef Tony Susi’s fine Italian eats including wood-fired pizzas, short rib arancini, mouth-watering meatballs and more. You’ll also have the opportunity to win high value raffle prizes including Red Sox tickets, $100 to Whole Foods and gift certificates to some of the area’s best restaurants, fitness studios and attractions. There’s even a gift basket of wine!”

  12. I love this design. You always inspire me to keep updating my home. What color would you paid the walls? Thanks

  13. We used honed imperial danby marble in our kitchen and powder room reno 6 years ago and still love it! Vermont marble supposedly is less porous than Italian marble, FWIW.

  14. I am so glad you mentioned the single lever faucet ! I almost never see it in any design pictures or even in redone kitchens. They are SO much more convenient and yet they haven’t seem to have caught on in the United States.

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